Artist Statement: Love, Blackness and humanity

Working primarily in photography, video, and painting, Iinterrogate my belief that in the absence of intentional awareness of andengagement with self, for many people self becomes a performance.  I believe that notions of self are developedin direct relationship to the images and information provided to us via popculture, religion, and the values and roles forced upon us by our respectivepeer groups, families and the culture at large. I believe the inability to know,and to fully embrace our authentic selves often creates a void inside thatleads to misguided worship of wealth, social status and corrosive power structuresas substitutes for true love[1] and community. As such wecan be tempted to elevate our feelings about self by seeking to diminishothers.

I evoke my experiences as a human being to address the role of alove ethic, genetic and chosen family and intimacy in American society andBlack life. My work also serves as an examination of how cultural expressionsand the building of both a literal and metaphysical “homeplace” serve as actsof liberation and resistance. I am interested in therelationship between societal discourse, pop-culture, subculture, and the developmentand expression of individual identity.

Withinfluences as diverse as advertising, ministry, podcasting and social media,new insights originate from both orderly and random dialogues. Informed by research and personal experience,I employ the tools, technology, and techniques of advertising and mass media todeconstruct paradigms and inspire self-reflection.  My work is at once an examination of culture,a celebration of culture, and a contribution to “the culture.”

[1] bell hooks,All About Love, pages 4-5, (HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000)


Ricky Day is a Harlem,New York based photographer, filmmaker, media personality working primarilywith themes related to identity, pop-culture and the African Americanexperience. “For Love and Blackness” November 3-30, 2023 is Ricky’s first soloexhibition in New York City. In early2023 Ricky was selected as the Juror’s Award-winning photographer for “Portrait– Self and Others” curated by Aline Smithson and “Parenthood” curated byRebecca Senf at Photo Place Gallery in Vermont.

His work has been shown in numerous soloand group shows in America and abroad including: “Fire and Soul: 100 Years ofHarlem” at Kente Royale Gallery; New York; ”Black Art Matters“ at Maag Hall inZurich; “Masterpiece” at Band of Vices in Los Angeles.  Ricky has also exhibited in group shows atLeslie Lohman Museum and Leslie Lohman Project Space, Umbrella Arts, and RushArts and solo exhibitions include; “Brother Outsider Won’t You Come Inside” and“Introducing Ricky Day. In 2020, Ricky served as the first ever artist in residencefor Art Crawl Harlem on Governor’s Island in New York City.

Other recent workincludes; the 2021 and 2022 Pride campaigns forEmil Wilbekin’s Native Son which he conceived and shot, portraits including thefront and back covers for Ty Hunter’s memoir “Makeover from Within,” andeditorial cover stories for Ambassador Magazine and Swerv Magazinerespectively.

Current and past clients include: The MetMuseum, Google, YouTube, Interscope Records, Stylist and designer, Ty Hunter; author and CNNcommentator, Keith Boykin; journalist and Native Son founder, Emil Wilbekin,media personality and author, Bevy Smith, Proctor and Gamble, Nivea, Google,Ford Models, PMK-BNC, Ford Models, Click Models, MBK Entertainment, SugarcaneMagazine, and Interscope Records to name a few.

Ricky is also agraduate of NY Theological Seminary where he earned a certificate in ChristianMinistry and Leadership in 2021 the host of the engaging and inspiring weeklypodcast, Nothing to Lose but Yourself which is available on all major podcastplatforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Ricky brings creativity,integrity, and an infectiously positive and calming spirt to his work andinteractions with his subjects. To shoot with him is an experience in and ofitself.

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